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Amazing Facts About the Hummingbird

Updated on July 28, 2016

The Hummingbird!

The hummingbird gets it name from the humming sound made by the rapid beating of their wings. This amazing bird can fly backward, forward, up, down, sideways and hover in mi-air.

There are over 343 hummingbird species in the world, there being only 16 species in the United States. The Bee Hummingbird is the smallest bird on the earth of Cuba, weighing 2.2 grams and measures just 2.25 inches long.

Interesting Facts About the Hummingbirds

  • Hummingbirds have no sense of smell
  • The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly sideways, up, down, forwards, backwards and hover in mid air.
  • When they sleep, to conserve energy, they go into a hibernation-like state and their metabolic rate slows to 1/15 of the normal rate.
  • The hummingbird has weak feet and uses them mostly for perching
  • Hummingbird courtship dives can reach up to 60 miles per hour; their average speed is 20 to 30 miles per hour.
  • There are 343 species of hummingbirds in the world
  • When hummingbirds migrate, some can fly 500 miles non-stop over the Gulf of Mexico
  • They can have a heart rate up to 1,260 beats per minute.

Flared Hummingbird


Angry Hummingbirds!

These tiny birds can get an attitude and show aggressive when they feel their breeding or feeding places are threatened. Many express their angry by the flared throat feathers.

Where do Hummingbirds Live?

Hummingbirds live in North America and South America. The hummingbird range goes as far north as southeastern Alaska and as far south as southern Chile. The biggest variety and over half of the hummingbird species is found in South America. The largest number of hummingbirds is found in Ecuador in northwestern South America, with 163 different species. Over fifty species of hummingbirds breed in Mexico.

Hummingbird in Flight!


Hummingbird size:

  • The smallest is the Bee Humming bird, which is the smallest bird on the earth, weighs 2.2 grams and measures 2.25 inches long and is also the smallest of all animals having a backbone. It is a little bigger than the bee.
  • The Giant Hummingbird, is about 8 inches in length, the common Ruby-throated Hummingbird, weighs about 3 grams and is about 3 1/2 inches from beak to tail.
  • When a hummingbird is getting ready for migrations their weight will almost double.

Hummingbirds Mating Video

Hummingbird Courtship:

At the start of nesting season the courtship dive is a display of flight performed by the male hummingbird. He will fly into the air, up to 60 feet or more and dive towards the ground performing different patterns. The courtship dives are performed to attract the attention of the female hummingbirds and to chase off other male hummingbirds in the area.


Hummingbird Feeding:

  • The hummingbird’s diet mostly consist of sugar, which they get from flower nectar and tree sap.
  • To get protein to build muscle they eat insects and pollen.
  • A hummingbird on the average feeds 5-8 times per hour, they needs to consume about half of its weight in sugar daily.

Flowers That Can Attrack Hummingbirds:

By the photos you can see that the hummingbird is attracted to the bright colorful flower, these are just a few of some of their favorites!

Bee Balm-Perennial: Zones 4-9


Cardinal Flower-Perennial: Zones 2-9


Salvia Perennial: Zones 4-11


Bleedings Hearts-Perennial: Zones 2-9


Butterfly Bush-Perennial: Zones 5-10


Trumpet Creeper-Perennial: Zones 4-10


Homemade Hummingbird Food Recipe:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Bring water to boil, add sugar. Mix well.

Let cool, store leftovers in refrigerator.

Clean your feeder once a week or if it gets cloudy.

Hummingbird Sleeping Habits:

Hummingbirds perch on a tree branch to sleep; they grasp the branch with their feet and go into a state of torpor, semi-hibernation, to conserve energy while they sleep. They especially like Fir trees because of thickness which offers them protection from the elements.

Do you have a Hummingbird Feeder?

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© 2016 Margie Lynn

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